This study was conducted in an artisanal fishing community. The main health complaints included musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) attributable to working conditions. The present work found a prevalence of neck and distal upper limb MSD among the artisan fisherwomen/shellfish gatherers in Saubara, Bahia, Brazil. This was a cross-sectional cohort epidemiological study involving 209 artisanal fisherwomen/shellfish gatherers. The Brazilian version of the Job Content Questionnaire (JCQ), the Nordic Musculoskeletal Questionnaire (NMQ) and a survey listing physical demands adapted to shellfish gathering were used for the study. The MSD values obtained in some part of the body, neck or shoulder, and distal upper limb were 94.7%, 71.3% and 70.3%, respectively. The shellfish gatherers were found to work long shifts despite the high prevalence of MSD. The factors that cause these women to keep performing such activities include the need to make a living and provide food for their families through the sale and consumption of seafood.
Artisanal fisherwomen; Shellfish gatherers; Musculoskeletal disorders